How Does OkCupid Work? Our Complete Guide to Match Questions, the Algorithm and Setting Up Your Account Table of Contents What is OkCupid? How does OkCupid work? Our algorithm and the matching process How do I set up my account on OkCupid? How can I get more matches on OkCupid? Is OkCupid free? How does messaging on OkCupid work? Where can I use OkCupid? Who can see my OkCupid profile? New OkCupid Features OkCupid became the first free online dating site ever when it was founded by four friends from Harvard in 2004. Their goal was simple: use a complex algorithm and thousands of questions to assign a compatibility score -- now known as the Match % -- to every single match. This Match % shows daters how compatible they are with other singles based on their responses to questions on everything from religion to politics to love. In this article, we're going to review numerous topics about OkCupid and its algorithm, and how to make the most of your OkCupid experience -- including setting up your account and why our matching questions are so important. Let's dive in. What is OkCupid? OkCupid is an online dating app with millions of users around the world that matches you on what matters to you. Our powerful algorithm uses your preferences and your answers to thousands of questions to connect you with compatible matches that you’ll have great conversations and dates with. Every year, OkCupid is responsible for nearly 200 million matches around the world and is the most mentioned dating app in the New York Times wedding section. So if you’re wondering “does OkCupid really work?” - the answer is yes! OkCupid is known as the first dating app to offer dozens of gender and orientation options that users can both identify as and search for. OkCupid is for every single person - whether gay, straight, bi, or anything in between and beyond. We also have more information about our gender and orientation options, and what they mean, that you can explore. OkCupid is also known for helping users filter for dates they share similar values and interests with. Our famous profile badges - such as the I’m Pro-Choice badge and I’m Vaccinated badge - let users filter for dates based on their views on reproductive rights, vaccination status, and more. How does OkCupid work? Our algorithm and the matching process How does OkCupid work now and how does the OkCupid algorithm work? Over the years we have continued to improve our algorithm, and with every question we add to OkCupid, it becomes more meticulous at finding users great matches. Our powerful algorithm first takes into account the basic criteria you’re looking for in a match, such as age, location, gender and orientation. If you want these preferences to be deal breakers, you can set them as such. (Gender and orientation preferences are automatically set as deal breakers for free). We then consider the people in that pool that are looking for you, too. What makes OkCupid special, though, is the final step where we consider all the questions you’ve answered, and how important you’ve ranked those questions (not important, somewhat important, or very important), and then match you with people who feel the same on everything from pineapple on pizza to voting rights. All of this comes together to create a Match % score between you and another person that helps determine how compatible you are. The Match % score is determined by what you’re looking for, what the other person is looking for, and how you both responded to the same questions (and how important you ranked them). The higher your Match % score is with someone, the more aligned you are in what you’re looking for and how you feel about various question topics such as religion, politics, and interests. How do I set up my account on OkCupid? Creating an OkCupid account is just a few easy steps: Download the OkCupid app, or visit OkCupid on desktop or mobile web. You can sign up with your email address, and your account will also be verified through your phone number in order to ensure you are a real person. In order to find you compatible matches, OkCupid asks for your name, gender (there are over a dozen options to choose from), birthday, city you live in, and preferences, such as what type of relationship you’re looking for and who you want to meet (including their gender and age). You can always change these details and preferences later from your profile. 3. Next, you upload photos of yourself and write a short bio. Make sure you have at least one photo that’s just of you. It’s best to avoid pics with lots of people, or ones that are dark or where you’re wearing sunglasses. In your bio, share a little about yourself including unique interests and hobbies. If you like to travel, that’s great! But be a bit more specific, like describing your favorite destination or a funny travel story. Don't forget to spell check! Over 75% of our users said they would probably not respond to someone who has spelling mistakes in their profile. 4. And the final step is answering 15 questions that help us find you people you’ll really like. We ask questions on your values, interests and beliefs to best help you match with other users. Some of the most popular questions include: How long do you want your next relationship to last? Could you date someone who was really messy? How important is religion in your life? Do you like scary movies? Our matching questions are different depending on where you live so we can help daters connect on things that matter to them, and we’re constantly adding new questions based on what our users care about right now. While you only have to answer 15 questions, the more you answer, the better. Each question you answer helps feed our algorithm to find you more compatible matches so you can feel confident that your date will go well because you share many of the same values and interests. You can always skip a question, or answer it privately. Learn more about OkCupid questions here. How can I get more matches on OkCupid? We’ve been in the matchmaking business for nearly two decades, so we have plenty of tips to share on how to get more matches on OkCupid: Update your profile frequently. When you update your profile with new photos or text, we give your profile a little boost so more people see you. Plus, having an up-to-date profile shows others you are active on OkCupid. Share more about yourself in your profile. If you enjoy tennis, post a photo of yourself at the courts or write in your bio that you’re looking for a double’s partner. This helps people get to know you and find things in common with you so they can start a conversation. When you take some time on your profile, it shows potential matches that you care and increases your chances of being liked. Answer more questions. The more questions you answer, the better we can match you with people you’re compatible with because we’ll have more things to match you on. Remember, every question you answer powers the algorithm that we use to determine how compatible you are with someone, so every time you answer a question, we have more information about you to match you with someone you’ll like! Connect your Instagram. Users with their Instagram accounts connected get more likes. Log in during rush hour so you have more people to connect with. Prime time is evenings from 7 to 10 pm local time, and Sundays are the busiest days of the week. If you’re looking for something long-term, definitely say so in your profile. Some people shy away from being clear about it because they worry it will scare people away, but in fact people who say they are looking for something long-term actually get more likes. Is OkCupid free? Yes! Using OkCupid is completely free. You do not have to pay to create an account or interact with other users and matches. If you want to unlock Premium features, you can upgrade to OkCupid Premium so you can see everyone who likes you (without having to like them first), three free SuperLikes each week, and see how matches publicly answered questions (without having to answer those same questions first). You also get all the features of OkCupid Basic, which includes being able to set dealbreakers, seeing all the Intros you’ve received at once, the ability to send unlimited Likes, and not seeing any ads. You can also pay for a la carte features, such as Boost, which shows your profile to more people at once. How does messaging on OkCupid work? When you match with someone, you can send messages back and forth. You can also send an Intro to someone you like who hasn’t liked you yet. They can see your Intro in their Intros tab when they go through them. Sending an Intro increases your chances of matching with that person. Where can I use OkCupid? OkCupid is available in over 180 countries. You can access your OkCupid account from any of these countries via app, mobile web, or desktop. Who can see my OkCupid profile? Only other OkCupid users can see your profile, and your profile is only shown to a set group of users considered to be good matches for you. However, if you want to hide your profile so only people you’ve matched with can see it, you can upgrade to Incognito Mode. With Incognito Mode, not only do you see no advertisements, but the only people who can see your profile are people you’ve liked, so you don’t have to worry about family members, coworkers, or anyone that you don’t want to see your profile seeing it. It allows you to keep an active profile where you can match with other users, while still being completely hidden from those you haven’t liked. New OkCupid Features We have a lot more in store, too! While we can’t give it all away just yet, we can say that we will be translating into dozens of additional languages and will be introducing additional profile badges so you can share the things that are most important to you clearly on your profile. We will also be adding hundreds of new questions so you can match on what’s important to you right now, from interests like the Winter Olympics to important issues in the midterm elections. So is OkCupid the best dating site and app? Absolutely. (Yes, we’re biased - but we swear it’s true!) With our app, every single person can find their place. All the options are available, whether you're looking for men, women, or anything in between, including non-binary dating options. Now it's all up to you - are you ready to find your next date? Download the app today.